|Publication number||US6945616 B2|
|Application number||US 09/824,490|
|Publication date||Sep 20, 2005|
|Filing date||Apr 2, 2001|
|Priority date||Apr 2, 2001|
|Also published as||US20020140325|
|Publication number||09824490, 824490, US 6945616 B2, US 6945616B2, US-B2-6945616, US6945616 B2, US6945616B2|
|Inventors||James W. Webster, Julius C. Lockhart|
|Original Assignee||Emerson Network Power, Energy Systems, North America, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (29), Classifications (7), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a modular enclosure system for electronic equipment and more particularly to a modular equipment enclosure system which allows for ease of handling, installation and on-site expansion.
2. Description of the Related Art
Equipment enclosures are used to house sensitive electronic equipment associated with voice, data and/or video transmission. These enclosures protect the equipment against the environment as well as from tampering and vandalism. Equipment enclosures are often placed out of doors on grounded concrete pads, on rooftops, attached to billboards or poles or within mechanical rooms. Because of their size and weight, a crane is usually required to complete installation, and expansion of enclosure space often requires a new larger enclosure or an additional new enclosure. Replacing enclosures or requiring additional ones is expensive and time consuming and may require interruption of the service performed by the electronic equipment. These difficulties are, of course, undesirable. Module enclosures have been proposed, such as that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,201,694, but these have been found wanting.
The difficulties encountered with previous enclosures have been overcome by the present invention. What is described here is a modular electronic equipment enclosure system comprising a frame unit having front, rear, left side, right side, top and bottom portions and front, rear and side openings, a flange bordering each of the openings, a first type of seal mounted to each of the flanges, a second type of seal mounted to the sides of the frame unit, side panels for mounting to the left and right side portions of the frame unit and for compressing both the first type and the second type of seals when the side panels are attached to the frame unit, and door panels for mounting to the front and the rear portions of the frame unit for compressing the first type of seal when the door panels are attached to the frame unit. The system includes a bridge panel connected to the left and the right side portions of adjoining frame units when two frame units are connected to each other, the bridge panel for compressing the second type of seal when the bridge panel is connected to the two frame units. A method for forming the enclosure system is also disclosed.
There are a number of advantages, features and object achieved with the present invention which are believed not to be available in earlier related devices. For example, one advantage is that the present invention provides a modular system that allows each module to be handled by a single technician using a standard two-wheel hand dolly. The services of a crane are not required. Another object of the present invention is to provide a modular enclosure system that can be assembled and expanded at a site and without requiring the use of adhesives or sealants. A further advantage is that the doors, side panels and other parts of the enclosure can be changed or replaced without disconnection of any of the electronics protected by the enclosure or without interruption of the services provided by the electronics. Thus, the integrity of the system is maintained. Another feature of the present invention is to provide a modular enclosure system that is simple, reliable and relatively inexpensive. A further advantage of the present invention is to provide a modular enclosure system that substantially reduces installation costs. The system can easily pass through standard thirty-six inch doorways, down hallways and up stairs for rooftop applications. Yet another aim of the present invention is to provide a modular enclosure system that may be bolted together and sealed without damaging the gaskets used and without the need for caulking material, and when completed, the doors and panels are mounted flush providing for an attractive appearance. All hardware is assembled to industry standard torque requirements and yet no damage is done to any of the seals. This allows easy reassembly and assurance of environmental integrity.
A more complete understanding of the present invention and other objects, advantages and features thereof will be gained from a consideration of the following description of the preferred embodiments read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing provided herein.
While the present invention is open to various modifications and alternative constructions, the preferred embodiments shown in the drawing will be described herein in detail. It is understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalent structures and methods, and alternative constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.
The simplicity and relative inexpensiveness of the inventive modular equipment enclosure system may be seen by reference to
The various parts of the two segment modular enclosure system 10 are shown in more detail in
A second frame unit 78 is also shown and includes a top wall 80, a bottom wall 82 and four vertical comer posts 84, 86, 88 and 90. (The comer post 90 is shown in
To facilitate attachment of the two frame units 50, 78 (and any additional frame units that may be needed), there is a front bridge panel 100, a rear bridge panel 102 and a top structural panel 104. The front and rear bridge panels are dimensioned to align flush with the doors so as to enhance the appearance of the completed enclosure. For every additional frame unit, additional front and rear bridge panels and a structural panel are needed. Each frame unit includes a plurality of horizontally disposed brackets extending from the two front comer posts of each frame unit to the two rear corner posts, such as the bracket 110 of the frame unit 50 and the bracket 112 of the frame unit 78.
A major advantage of the present invention is that the size of the frame unit allows for easy handling, transport and installation when compared to large size integral enclosures which are heavy and bulky. The large size enclosures typically require the services of a crane for installation thereby resulting in substantial costs. The modular enclosure system of the present invention obviates the need for a crane because of the smaller, much more manageable size modules or segments beginning with a frame unit. A segment, even when loaded with electronic equipment, can be passed through a standard thirty-six inch door, moved down a hallway and carried up stairs for rooftop installations. Another important advantage is that the enclosure system 10 may be easily expanded when the need arises because the expansion, in the form of additional frame units and related elements, may be assembled on site quickly and economically. Further, panel parts may be added or exchanged easily. All of this may be accomplished without disconnection of the electronic equipment housed within the enclosure system. Because of the structure of the present invention, the enclosure may be assembled, disassembled and reassembled.
To achieve a completely constructed enclosure system, it is essential that the electronic equipment chamber be sealed environmentally against seventy mph wind driven rain, salt fog, humidity, bugs and the like. This sealing must exist between frame units, between a frame unit and a set of doors and between a frame unit and a set of side panels. A major feature of the present invention is that each frame unit includes two sets of factory installed seals, and that these seals may act as primary or secondary seals as will be explained below. It is to be noted that caulking and liquid sealant are not required for assembly or for later expansion. The enclosure system can also be taken apart and reassembled and still maintain seal integrity.
Referring now to
A second type of seal or gasket 146,
The side panels, such as the side panel 28, are all structured to include a central portion 155,
As can be seen in
The first type seals 120, 136 and the second type seals 146, 154 are primary seals while the first type seals 134, 140 are secondary seals. In a like manner, the seals 120, 130, 148, 150 are primary seals and the seal 132 is a secondary seal.
The seals are available from vendors and may be acquired from Schlegel Corp. of Rochester, N.Y.
The front bridge panel 100 and the rear bridge panel 102 connect the two frame units 50, 78 together in a manner that also compresses the two seals 134, 140 . Each of the bridge panels are connected to their respective vertical corner posts by fasteners, such as the two fasteners 160, 162 near the front of the enclosure system and the two fasteners 164, 166 near the rear of the enclosure system. As can be seen, a front wall 168 of the front bridge panel 100 and a front wall 170 of the rear bridge panel 102 align flush with the outer surfaces 172, 173 of the front doors 20, 22, respectively, and the outer surfaces 176, 178 of the rear doors 30, 32, respectively. The flush aligned look of the enclosure system enhances its aesthetic appeal.
As shown in FIG. 7 and also in
Using industry standard torque requirements, fasteners, such as the fasteners 200, 202 may be used to attach the frame units 50, 78 to the battery compartments 16, 18, respectively. Referring back to
The advantage of the seals described here is that there is no need to apply caulking or liquid sealant to the frame units, to the panels or to the doors to ensure sealing worthiness and integrity. The seals disclosed here make installation, expansion and part replacement easy and quick as well as consistent. The chance of inconsistent sealing is much less with factory installed seals when compared to the field application of caulking or sealant. Also, assembly is quick and easy using industry standard tools and torques. Forming the various elements of the system uses standard metal forming tools and processes and assembly is well known by those skilled in the art.
Another important feature of the present invention is that the various parts are designed to limit the compression forces on the seals so as not to permanently distort them. Because of this feature, the enclosure may be assembled, disassembled, expanded and reassembled numerous times. For example, to accommodate the rectangular seals 146, 152, 154, 156, which are about one-quarter inch thick, the front and rear bridge panels 100, 102 are set back about one-eighth of an inch as shown in
The battery compartments 16, 18 are formed by housings 201, 203 and include enclosed shelves 209, 210. Front and back covers 212, 214, 216 and 218,
Mounted on the side panel 28 is a load center 220,
Yet another feature may be seen by reference to FIG. 3. The roof cap 24 may be formed with rain gutters 230, 232 in the form of “J” shaped elements. Similar elements may be formed on the opposite side. The rain gutters direct rain water away from the front and rear openings of the frame units.
The various parts of the enclosure are best seen in FIG. 3. The manufacture of these parts is relatively inexpensive because every frame unit, door, side panel, battery compartment housing and battery compartment cover are identical to every other part of the same description. An enclosure system may include one frame unit or a multiple number of frame units. Each frame unit is designed to be handled by a single person using a standard two wheel, hand operated dolly. Electronic equipment may also be installed in each frame unit of a multi-segment enclosure system at the factory. The equipment will be connected to community power at the site. If more than one frame unit is used to construct a particular enclosure system, each of the frame units may be limited in the amount of weight that it carries so as to assist in the ease of handling and installation. Further, other modular pieces, such as thermal management systems may be easily bolted on to the enclosure system and may be moved or upgraded to accommodate system growth. As a subassembly, the door with the thermal management system can be removed by simply lifting the door off its hinges without the use of any tools.
All modular systems now existing require the application of caulking of sealant which is time consuming and expensive as well as problem prone because such caulking or sealant is never completely uniform. Also, caulking and sealants are one time seals. The present enclosure system eliminates caulking and sealant and requires nothing more than standard tools and torques both, for initial assembly or for expansion. The modular system of the present invention allows easy field assembly and disassembly thereby eliminating much of the costs usually affiliated with installation and the addition of conduit, wire and circuits. The doors are interchangeable and may be either left hand or right hand opening simply by manipulating the door one hundred eighty degrees before assembly.
The specification describes in detail an embodiment of the present invention. Other modifications and variations will, under the doctrine of equivalents, come within the scope of the appended claims. For example, different dimensions, opening geometries and sealing designs are considered equivalent structures. Using one module or more than two modules are equivalent systems. Thermal management devices may include air conditioning systems, heat exchangers or fans or any combination of these. Further, the thermal management device may be attached to the doors or the side panels, or mounted above a frame unit or beneath. Still other alternatives will also be equivalent as will many new technologies. There is no desire or intention here to limit in any way the application the doctrine of equivalents.
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|U.S. Classification||312/265.3, 312/223.1, 312/265.4|
|Cooperative Classification||H02B1/50, H02B1/308|
|Jul 20, 2001||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MARCONI COMMUNICATIONS, INC., OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:WEBSTER, JAMES W.;LOCKHART, JULIUS C.;REEL/FRAME:012009/0384;SIGNING DATES FROM 20010423 TO 20010424
|Nov 5, 2003||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MARCONI INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ( RINGFENCE) INC., P
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MARCONI COMMUNICATIONS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:014675/0855
Effective date: 20031028
|Nov 19, 2004||AS||Assignment|
|Dec 15, 2004||AS||Assignment|
|Mar 20, 2009||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Mar 20, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8